Sketches in Quantitative Finance

A Translation of Louis Bachelier’s Le Jeu, la Chance et le Hasard

About the book

Forgotten amidst the dusty archives of French technical literature lies a delightful little gem written by Louis Bachelier in 1914 entitled Le Jeu, la chance et le hasard, or The Game, Luck and Randomness. Popular in pre-World War I France, Le Jeu… offered the general reader of the time original insights into quantifiable patterns found in both casino games and financial markets; it was perhaps one of the first “how to get rich quick” books. But its popularity did not survive the early 20th century upheavals in Europe and it was never translated and published into English.

The book in hand, Sketches in Quantitative Finance, is the only known English translation of Le Jeu, la chance et le hasard. It attempts to be a technically precise, word for word, translation of Bachelier’s work, preserving his original tone and his refreshingly readable (albeit quirky) style of writing. While this translation’s entertainment value is enhanced by the frequent nuggets of knowledge of Bachelier’s mathematical perspectives, perhaps the greater pleasure to the English reader will be to experience a freshly exposed artifact of scientific philosophy.

About the author
Edward Harding received degrees in geography, business, and information technology from Middlebury College, Dartmouth College and the University of Massachusetts respectively. He was a Professor of Finance at Plymouth State University in the US for over thirty years, teaching, writing and self-publishing several concise course textbooks in the field of quantitative finance. In this capacity he stumbled upon the work of Louis Bachelier and was captivated by the content: the math, the finance, the philosophy, and especially the slippery nature of randomness. He currently lives a quiet life with his wife in the woods of New Hampshire, USA.
I. Randomness II. Probability III. Appreciation of Probability IV. Mathematical Expectation V. Moral Expectation VI. The General Idea of Expectation VII. Luck VIII. Mean Values IX. The Origins of the Calculation of Probabilities X. Martingales and Lotteries XI. Classification of Probabilities XII. Laws of Large Numbers XIII. Law of Bernoulli XIV. Gamblers Ruin XV. The Illusions of Gamblers XVI. New Theories of Probabilities XVII. Randomness and Experience XVIII. Speculation XlX. Instruments of Speculation XX. Probabilities of Future Events after Observed Events XXI. Errors of Observation XXII. Principle of the Mean XXIII. Curves of Frequency XXIV. The Shot at the Target
Publication information
Edward Harding, Sketches in Quantitative Finance A Translation of Bachelier’s Le Jeu, la Chance et le Hasard, Translations, 1 (Leeds: Kısmet Press, 2017)

Series: Translations, 1
Publication date: 2017
Place of Publication: Leeds
Publisher: Kısmet Press
ISBN 978-0-9956717-8-2 (hbk)
ISBN 978-0-9956717-9-9 (ebk)
208 pages
21.6 x 14 cm

Copyright information
Copyright © 2017 Edward Harding

Published by Kismet Press LLP under an exclusive license to publish. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited. The book is freely available online at under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license. See for details.

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